In Linn and Benton Counties, the InterFaith Health Care Network (IHCN) is a coalition of diverse religious communities, striving to make health care available to all who live and/or work here.  Linked together,IHCN is committed to making a universal, single-payer health care plan a reality in Oregon... and ultimately throughout our country.  Won't you and your faith community join us?   

Interestingly, woven centrally within the major religious faiths of our world is a basic teaching.  Christians often refer to it as "The Golden Rule" -- "Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you!" (Matthew 7:12 & Luke 6:31)  In Judaism, the Talmud, Shabbat 31a instructs: "What is hurtful to yourself do not to your fellow man."  Islam's Mishkat-el-Masabih counsels followers "Do unto all men as you would they should unto you, and reject for others what you would reject for yourself."  Buddhism's Udanavarga 5.8 teaches: "Hurt not others with that which pains yourself."  Similarly, in the Bahá'í faith Bahá'ulláh says: "Ascribe not to any soul that which thou wouldst not have ascribed to thee."  This same teaching is also found in the holy texts of other faiths, such as Confucianism, Hinduism, and Sikhism.

In the spirit of this universal religious teaching, why do we... why can we... as a nation/state... continue to exclude many of our neighbors from the health care they need?  Is there anyone among us who does not want the health care they need, when they need it?  

While many in our country and state now have health care thanks to the Affordable Care Act, there are many, many more (about 31 million according to Congressional Budget Office estimates... including 337,000 Oregonians) who will still NOT have health care when ObamaCare is fully implemented.  And there are millions more who continue to have their (and their families') financial well-being jeopardized and destroyed by the American health care system as we now know it.  We can do better! We must do better!

To continue to systematically and intentionally ignore and abuse this substantial portion of our citizenry through our health care system is, not only unfair, it is inhumane.  I'd even say it is immoral!

Such is the motivation, for us as a people of faith, to be active in the cause of bringing health care to all -- "Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you!"

In the history of our nation, people of faith have been on the front lines, active for the sake of those who were hungry, for those who were the victims of tragedy and calamity, for those who were enslaved, for those who were denied adequate education, for women who werebarred from voting, as well as for those minorities who were deprived of their civil rights.

Now, in our own time, bringing health care to all -- through a universal, single-payer plan -- is a cause that cries out for our faithful action!

Tim Roach
2015